By Griffin Sarachek
About 850 parisiens, mostly women, stormed the Bastille looking for weapons and gunpowder that they believed was kept their by the king. 98 people were killed and 73 were wounded, no weapons were found. It was significant because it is considered the beginning of the French Revolution. Louis XVI withdrew all of his troops from Paris and many aristocrats fled.
On August 4, 1789, noblemen persuaded more by fear than by idealism, joined the National Assembly in abolishing the Feudalistic privileges of the First and Second Estates. This meant that a normal Citizen was now as powerful as a member of the clergy or a noble.
On October 5 1789, about 6 000 infuriated women marched from Paris all the way to Versailles carrying pitchforks, knives and muskets. They were angry about the sky rocketing bread prices and mostly about how the king was having a fun time in his palace while they were struggling in Paris. They claimed that the King was out of touch and that he didn't care about the people. They demanded to come live in Paris and he did.
During the night of June 21, 1791 the royal family tried to escape
from Paris to the Netherlands. As they neared the frontier however, they were caught and returned to Paris. This event made the king despised even more. He was seen as a traitor and an enemy of France. This also helped radical revolutionaries in the government influence other citizens.
On August 10, 1792, furious men and women, about 20 000 of them, invaded the Tuileries, the palace where the Royal Family was staying. The enormous mob massacred the guards and captured Louis, his wife, and his children and put them in prison. Shortly after, upon hearing a rumor that supporters of the King planned to break out of Paris prisons and seize the city, another mob raided the prisons and killed thousands of prisoners. Many nobles, priests, and royalists fell victim to these massacres.
On September 21, 1792, the Legislative Assembly officially abolished monarchy, King Louis XVI was now equal to a common citizen. A republic was established instead. They also dissolves The National Assembly and elected a new legislature, the National Convention. Adult male citizens were now given the right to vote and hold office. In order to erase the Old Regime, the calendar is brought back down to Day 1, the power of the Church is also abolished and historical monuments' names are changed.
Guided by the Jacobins, Louis XVI was accused and tried for treason by the National Convention. He was found guilty and sentenced to death by a very close vote. On January 21, 1793, he was executed by the guillotine. Although it was considered a great success for some of the revolutionaries, the sight of seeing their king executed created a strong uneasiness in others.
On July 27, 1793, Maximilien Robespierre became leader of the Committee of Public Safety. During the next year, Robespierre governed France virtually as a dictator and the period of his reign is known as the Reign of Terror. He had an extremely large amount of people Guillotined, justifying his use of terror by explaining that it helped French citizens remain true to the ideas of the Revolution.
Fearing for their lives, some members in the National Convention turned on Robespierre and demanded his arrest and execution. The Reign of Terror officially ended on July 28, 1794, when Robespierre was guillotined. A little later, leaders in the Convention created a new government, the Directory.